Passkeys are 40 per cent faster than passwords but even more secure due to their reliance on a certain type of cryptography, Google account users will be prompted to create a passkey for their account by default.
Signing in with a passkey means no more remembering or typing in passwords, but rather using biometric or pin-based systems to access accounts.
Nonetheless, Google says that passwords will “still remain part of our lives as we make the pivot”. Google users can still choose to sign in to their Google account with traditional passwords, opting out of using passkeys by disabling the “skip password when possible” option when prompted.
What are passkeys?
Passkeys are not limited to Google (with Apple already using a similar system) but are a long-standing replacement for traditional passwords, based around a device’s own authentication methods.
Users can sign in to Gmail, PayPal, or iCloud just by activating Face ID on iPhones, fingerprint recognition on most smartphones, or through voice activation on enabled devices.
Passkeys work via two different keys: one stored on your account and a private key stored on the device you use to verify your identity.
Passkeys work across multiple devices so, if you lose your phone, you will still be able to remotely access your account via another device.
Importantly, many services that support passkeys also require reauthentication to your phone number or email, to protect your accounts in the case of a missing or stolen device.
Google already introduced passkey support to a range of its products over the past year, including Workspace and Cloud accounts and its Chrome web browser, but is now rolling it out and pushing it to customers in services such as YouTube, Maps, and other personal Google services.
Uber and eBay also recently enabled passkeys and WhatsApp compatibility is planned to be coming soon as well.